by Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date:April 24, 2012
Release Date:April 24, 2012
Source: Reviewed ARC as part of southern book bloggers tour
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.
But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming. - Goodreads
Unraveling, by debut author Elizabeth Norris, was such an exciting read! There was a bit of everything between the covers: a kick ass heroine, sci fi intrigue, romance, family drama, friendship, advanced technology, natural disasters, and the list goes on! I also loved that the authors labeled chapters using a countdown clock instead of regular old chapter titles - definitely added suspense to finding out what the "main event" was.
I loved every single character in Unraveling. They were also so interesting, and I really grew to care about each of them.
Janelle - Oh Janelle, this girl was so fierce. I'd even go so far to say that she's as fearless as Tris from Divergent or Katniss from The Hunger Games. Even though Janelle has so much on her plate, she handles her burdens with grace. She constantly has to tend to a mother with OCD and an FBI agent father who buries himself in his work. From the time she was young, Janelle cared for her little brother, Jared, like a mother would. Her love for her father and brother was so apparent. Fantastic heroine all around.
Ben - Those of you who are into bad boys will totally fall for Ben. He has many secrets, and I can't wait for all of you to discover them. Needless to say, he was a very intriguing and fleshed out character.
Janelle's dad - Yes, he's a hardass. Yes, he ran away from his problems by burying himself in FBI cases, but he was one of my characters. He was so protective of Janelle and Jared, and I could tell he would do anything to make his kids happy.
The storyline in Unraveling moved fairly quickly, but I do think that the story could have been told in fewer pages. This is a 450 page book, guys! Nevertheless, the long length really didn't upset me, because I was so engrossed in the characters and finding out the "main event". Plot twists jumped out at me left and right, and a couple of deaths hit me hard. I wasn't completely surprised by the ending, but the concept of the "main event" was definitely interesting, and it left my head spinning. It's hard to properly review this book without spoiling anything, so I'll leave it at that.
Overall, I feel that Unraveling was a fantastic debut! I connected with the characters, and the plotting kept me glued to the book. I just found out that a sequel will be coming out next year, and I can't wait!
I'd recommend Unraveling to fans of:
complex family relationships